Steven A. Bush - November 1, 2015
When in Rome
Following Paul's third missionary journey, he makes his way back to Jerusalem. There he's arrested, taken to Caesarea, and then makes his defense before governors Felix and Festus as well as King Agrippa. Because Paul appealed his case to Caesar, he's sent to Rome on board a ship with other prisoners. The ship encounters a fierce nor'easter and wrecks on the island of Malta. Paul heals the father of the Maltese chief official and then everyone else who is sick. Eventually they safely sail to Rome. While awaiting trial, Paul's on house arrest but he's permitted to invite the Jews throughout the city to come and hear the Gospel. Acts 28:23-24 says: "When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved." (ESV) Paul's venture to Rome should qualify as his fourth missionary journey. The believers on Malta and throughout Rome would certainly affirm this notion. For two-plus years in Rome, Paul shared Jesus with all who would listen. He also wrote four epistles during his incarceration, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Paul never shrank back, never backed down, never watered down the wine, and tenaciously kept the Gospel central in every sermon and letter. We have much to embrace from his legacy. The Kingdom could use a few more bold souls like Paul declaring the Good News of Jesus Christ. So why not us?!